Deck The Halls with Macro Follies

Each year, our attention turns to the holidays… and to holiday consumer spending! We’re told repeatedly that, because consumer spending is 70 percent of measured GDP, such spending is vital to economic growth and job creation. This must mean that savings, the opposite of consumption, is bad for growth. But is it? Can we really consume our way to prosperity, or do savings and investment actually drive…

Fight Of The Century

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Great Recession technically ended in the summer of 2009. Yet in the years that have followed, GDP growth has been anemic and job growth has been the slowest of any recovery since the Great Depression. What have we learned about the boom and bust since Keynes and Hayek first rap battle, Fear the Boom and Bust? Where should we head from here? Is that question even meaningful? Can the government steer the economy or have past attempts helped create the mess we’re still in?

John Maynard Keynes and F. A. Hayek never agreed on the answers to these questions and they still don’t. Let’s listen to the greats. See Keynes and Hayek throwing down in “Fight of the Century.”

Fear The Boom and Bust

In Fear the Boom and Bust, John Maynard Keynes and F. A. Hayek, two of the great economists of the 20th century, come back to life to attend an economics conference on the economic crisis. Before the conference begins, and at the insistence of Lord Keynes, they go out for a night on the town and sing about why there’s a “boom and bust” cycle in modern economies and good reason to fear it.

Hayek’s Gift

Keynes and Hayek discuss the state of the economy over a fine holiday meal. In a sign of sincere affection, Hayek makes a small contribution to the circular flow of spending.

Fear The Boom – with Larry White

In this EconStories mini-documentary, economist and Hayek scholar Lawrence H. White provides an overview of the Mises/Hayek “Austrian” theory of Boom and Bust. Part one focuses on the unsustainability of a boom driven by artificially low interest rates and credit expansion by the central bank (the Fed) beyond the supply of genuine savings. Lawrence H. … [read more]

EconStories at The Economist

On October 25th, an audience of financial managers and CEOs, politicians, central bankers and Nobel Prize-winning economists at The Economist’s Buttonwood Gathering were treated to an unusual experience: a live rap battle between John Maynard Keynes and F. A. Hayek. Following a presentation by Nassim Taleb, the lights went down in the auditorium and Fear the Boom and Bust blasted … [read more]

Robert Skidelsky on Keynes

Is our prosperity derived from a continual circular flow of spending? Is it impossible for a society to increase it’s total savings? Can deficit spending by a government step in to replace private activity in order to maintain full employment and restore lasting economic growth? What is a liquidity trap and what does it mean … [read more]

The Cluster of Errors – with Larry White

Are Austrian economists a broken clock that’s right twice a day (when there’s a bubble that busts)? Why do entrepreneurs continue to be fooled by manipulation of interest rates by the central bank? In this EconStories mini-documentary, part III in our first series on the Mises/Hayek theory of boom and bust, Lawrence H. White addresses … [read more]

[Book] Keynes: A Very Short Introduction

John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) is a central thinker of the twentieth century, not just an economic theorist and statesman, but also an important figure in economics, philosophy, politics, and culture. In this Very Short IntroductionLord Skidelsky, a renowned biographer of Keynes, explores his ethical and practical philosophy, his monetary thought, and provides an insight into … [read more]

[Book] The Constitution of Liberty: The Definitive Edition

The latest entry in the University of Chicago Press’s series of newly edited editions of Hayek’s works,The Constitution of Liberty is, like Serfdom, just as relevant to our present moment. The book is considered Hayek’s classic statement on the ideals of freedom and liberty, ideals that he believes have guided—and must continue to guide—the growth … [read more]

The Bust – with Larry White

So the boom turns to bust. What now? In this EconStories mini-documentary, economist and Hayek scholar Lawrence H. White offers his view on a Hayekian response to the bust phase of the Boom and Bust cycle and responds to the charge that F. A. Hayek was a “liquidationist.” Lawrence H. White is a professor of … [read more]